On the Run

Atlanta, the home of the Civil Rights movement, is highlighted in National news because people are on the run. This time it’s not for the Beyonce’s and Jay Z tour. Immigrants are literally fleeing for their lives. President Trump has basically declared war on immigrants living with America by making them a target for arrest and deportation. In my perspective, this is the same backlash black men received when President Obama was elected President. It’s factual that the increase of Black and Brown men in America, who were unarmed were target and gunned down by Police. President Trump campaigned on his distaste for immigrants and refugees. Now as President, he’s encouraging the unmerited and inhumane treatment of immigrants and refugees.

Both the schools that I support as Board Chairman and the school that lead culture at have many non-English speaking families. Last November, immediately after the election, our Ivy schools received many Muslim and Hispanic families due to bullying, threats and unfair treatment of them at schools by not only children, but faculty, staff and parents. Imagine the mind of a young child who had been in a school since August and then in November they are suddenly targeted, looked down upon and labeled due the climate that is perpetuated in this country. This year, I have seen more and more of our families having to change residency and missing days of school because their families are in hiding or on the run.

The treatment of refugees and immigrants within America affects our schools. How do you explain to children who are victims of this the reasoning why their families are being torn apart here in a country where they came to and/or fled to in order to obtain freedom? Can you imagine being a prisoner in a place you fled to for freedom? Every country in the world has its own issues. One of our issues is how freedom is obtained and how the perimeters of freedom affect every citizen. Under our current President, immigrant laws and how we support refugees is an issue that doesn’t just affect us economically but educationally. We cannot ignore the cultural and racial impacts this has on the way America engages people of different races, cultures and religions.

Here are tips on how we can change the cultural dynamic to support immigrant families:

  1. Help immigrant families identify safe havens
  2. Implement lessons within Social Studies curriculum around refugees and immigrants
  3. Do a mock trial and debate on Immigration Laws
  4. Have students write letter to the President regarding the treatment of refugees and immigrants in America
  5. Ensure that immigrant families are embedded into the school culture and environment
  6. Contact organizations such as Anti Defamation League to gain resources and ways to support families

Jason has worked in education for over 15 years as a teacher, blogger and community advocate. He speaks and writes primarily about the need to improve education for Black boys, particularly increasing the number of Black male educators in schools. In addition to blogging here at EdLanta, Jason is also a featured writer at Education Post.

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